It’s 7th grade math. One 12 ounce can of soda has 150 calories. There are 365 days in a year. One can of soda per day will add 54,750 calories in a year (150 x 365). One pound of body fat has 3,500 calories. So, if one can of soft drink is added to a typical diet this will lead to 15.6 pounds (54,750/3500) of weight increase in a year.
In an editorial article in Journal of American Medical Association Dr. Caroline Apovian says, “A better mechanism for weight gain could not have developed than introducing a liquid carbohydrate with calories”
Though we would like to deny it, as would the food industry, soda is one of the causes of our obesity epidemic. New studies each day are pointing to this cause and effect link, much like tobacco and lung cancer.
A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association last month found that women who had higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages had a higher level of weight gain and were at an increased risk for adult onset diabetes. Women who drank one or more sugar sweetened soft drink per day had an 83 percent greater chance of developing diabetes compared to women who drank less than one soft drink per day.
So with this link between soda and weight gain, and a link between weight gain and diabetes, and 40 percent of our children being overweight, why are our schools still stacked with soda machines?
With 20 percent of our children being obese, why did the US Department of Health and Human Services reject the World Health Organization’s report. The report had linked specific foods to the obesity epidemic and criticized the food industry for heavily marketing the energy dense-micronutrient poor foods.
Special interest groups have the ear of the government while public health experts write journal and newspaper articles. It was déjà vu with the tobacco industry tactics.
So if the government and the food industry will not change – we can work to change ourselves. At our Sunday school for years we had the children choose between Coca-cola, Pepsi, or Sprite. Last week, when our Sunday school got together and snacks were served, things were different. This time there was water, orange juice, and only one soda.